As Citizens Advice reports that 2023 was the “bleakest ever” start to a year, Citron Hygiene has launched a new initiative to help tackle period poverty. The provider of washroom hygiene services will donate 73,000 Aunt Flow pads and tampons to the national children’s charity, the Youth Sport Trust, to alleviate period poverty and help girls enjoy being physically active all month long.
The project marks Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day), 28 May, which highlights period poverty on a global scale. Period poverty is characterised by limited or no access to menstrual products and knowledge and often results from financial constraints with far-reaching consequences. Being unable to manage menstruation safely and hygienically can lead to missing school and work, hindering education and career progression, as well as reducing participation in sports and leisure activities.
With Sport England data showing only 45 per cent of girls are undertaking the recommended 60 minutes of activity per day, versus 50 per cent of boys (Sport England, 2022), and Youth Sport Trust’s own research conducted through its Girls Active programme shows 39 per cent of girls say having their period stops them taking part in sport, physical activity and PE at school, it is hoped this campaign will inspire others to help reduce period poverty as one of the biggest barriers girls say impacts their participation in sport.
Pads and tampons will be donated via the Youth Sport Trust to schools involved in the charity’s Girls Active Programme. Girls Active is an award-winning programme, funded by the National Lottery through Sport England, that develops partnerships between teachers and girls working together to understand what makes girls fully engage in PE, sport, and physical activity and provides inspiring and relevant opportunities for all girls.
The partnership was officially launched on 16 May at Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham by Olympic bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw who met with students from the Girls Active programme and representatives of the Citron Hygiene and Youth Sport Trust.
Robert Guice, CEO, Citron Hygiene, said: “From the research we carried out, we know that one in five women over 18 in the UK cannot purchase period products due to the cost-of-living crisis, and for girls, that number could be even higher. Thanks to our customers who are committed to period dignity and now offer Aunt Flow free-vend units in their washrooms, 10 per cent of our pad and tampons sales from 2022 through 2023 will go to Girls Active programmes across the UK, allowing them to participate in sports without worrying about their periods.”
Claire Coder, CEO, Aunt Flow, commented: “At Aunt Flow, we don’t just sell tampons and pads; we are on a mission to change the world one cycle at a time! Our donation programme ensures that for every 10 period products we sell, we donate one to a menstruator who can’t afford them. Thanks to our partnership with Citron Hygiene and the Youth Sport Trust’s Girls Active programme, we’re ensuring no one will have to sit out of a game because of their period!”
Jen Rouse, Commercial and Fundraising Director at the Youth Sport Trust added: “We know girl’s top concerns when participating in PE or school sport when on their period are leaking, confidence and pain/discomfort. This partnership is going to be game-changing for so many young people and schools who we support through our Girls Active programme. We are proud to be removing barriers during the time girls spend being physically active by creating the right environment and giving girls the kit they need.”